A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“The shortest distance between two points is always under construction” (6/27)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/27)
“If I had a dollar for every existential crisis I’ve ever had…does money even matter?” (6/27)
“Keep your cymbal jokes to yourself. We’ve heard them all a Zildjian times” (6/27)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/27)
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Entry from May 30, 2015
“The school board wishes you a speedy recovery, by a vote of 4-3”

Country school boards (or athletic boards) can be divisive over even simple things. A popular joke is told of an athletic board (or a school board) sending a losing football coach (or an assistant school superintendent) the following telegram after the employee’s hospitalization:

“The board wishes you a speedy recovery by a vote of 4 to 3.”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 1964. “Telegram” is used only in the older versions of the joke.


12 January 1964, The State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL), “Quotes and Notes” by El Alsene, pg. 42, col. 8:
HAVE YOU HEARD of the football coach who had gone through a long, losing season and had to be hospitalized because of an ulcer, nervous exhaustion and assorted ailments?

His friends on the school’s athletic board didn’t forget him. They sent him a get-well telegram which read:

“The board wishes you a speedy recovery by a vote of 4 to 3.”

Google Books
The Educational Magazine
Volume 21
1964
Pg. 459:
The assistant superintendent broke his leg and was hospitalized. Most of his get-well messages he tossed away after reading. But one he kept. It was a telegram that read: “The executive board of the County Education Association has instructed me to send you its wishes for a speedy recovery by a vote of 7 to 5."—From Mississippi Educational Advance.

Google Books
The Successful Toastmaster:
A Treasure Chest of Introductions, Epigrams, Humor, and Quotations

By Herbert Victor Prochnow
New York, NY: Harper & Row
1966
Pg. 325:
The assistant superintendent broke his leg and was hospitalized. Most of his get-well messages he tossed away after reading. But one he kept; it was a telegram which read: “The executive board of the County Education Association has instructed me to send you its wishes for a speedy recovery by a vote of seven to five.

Google Books
The Vanishing American Jew:
In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century

By Alan M. Dershowitz
New York, NY: Touchstone
1997
Pg. 235:
The classic Jewish story reflecting this division is about the rabbi who got sick and the chairman of the synagogue’s board of directors reported to him that the board had voted to wish him a full recovery — by a vote of 7 to 6.

Google Books
The Future of America’s Political Parties
By Andrew Busch
Lanham, MD: Lexington Books
2007
Pp. 63-64:
Well, that’s a vote for American exceptionalism and that reminds me of the story of the Teamsters’ business agent who was at the hospital and got a bouquet of flowers with a note attached that said, “The executive board wishes you a speedy recovery by a vote of nine to six.”

Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch
Book review (Mysteries): ‘Gathering Prey,’ ‘The Devil’s Making,’ ‘Thin Air,’ ‘A Finely Knit Murder’
Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2015 10:30 pm
By JAY STRAFFORD Special correspondent
(...)
An old joke: When a school superintendent falls ill, the local school board sends a get-well card with this message: “Wishing you a speedy recovery, by a vote of 3 to 2.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, May 30, 2015 • Permalink